The Intercept has got hold of a set of Harris's super-secretive manuals for their even-more-secret Stingray devices: fake cellular towers used to spy indiscriminately on whole populations by hacking their cellphones into giving up identifying information and more.
Harris has fought every attempt at transparency in the technical details of these widely deployed mass surveillance tools, arguing that crooks and terrorists would benefit from any disclosures. However, Stingrays are widely used against petty criminals like marijuana growers, and have never been cited in any anti-terrorist operation.
The manuals reveal that Harris's products are remarkably easy to use, thanks, in part to the absence of any checks against the abusive or illegal deployment of mass spying tools.
A video of the Gemini software installed on a personal computer, obtained by The Intercept and embedded below, provides not only an extensive demonstration of the app but also underlines how accessible the mass surveillance code can be: Installing a complete warrantless surveillance suite is no more complicated than installing Skype. Indeed, software such as Photoshop or Microsoft Office, which require a registration key or some other proof of ownership, are more strictly controlled by their makers than software designed for cellular interception.
“While this device is being discussed in the context of US law enforcement,” said Tynan, “this could be used by foreign agents against the US public and administration. It is no longer acceptable for our phones and mobile networks to be exploited in such an invasive and indiscriminate way.”
LONG-SECRET STINGRAY MANUALS DETAIL HOW POLICE CAN SPY ON PHONES [Sam Biddle/The Intercept]
Android tablets being crummy and Microsoft ones being dismembered laptops, it’s nice that Apple’s unexpectedly announced new models of its aging iPad Mini and iPad Air. The 10.5″ iPad Air weighs one pound and starts at $499, while the 7.9″ iPad Mini has pencil support, an ultra-high DPI and starts at $399. Both use Apple’s […]
Enjoy one minute and eleven seconds of fun from the Lockpicking Lawyer, who makes short work of a Smartkey Kwikset Padlock [Amazon], which you absolutely shouldn’t buy as a gift for someone whose property you have plans for.
I finally pulled the trigger on the new iPad Pro because of today’s deals at Amazon; affiliate links follow below. Every year I throw all my computers in a dumpster and make another desperate, clawing, doomed effort to use an iPad Pro as my “only machine” and it is once again Time. Here’s what’s up: […]
Seems like drones are doing a lot of jobs these days, from reconnaissance to delivery. Now, we can add “keeping the Death Star safe” to that list. Whether you’re a drone enthusiast or a Star Wars fan, these Star Wars Propel Drones are undeniably the coolest toy around. Yes, that’s a fully functional drone replica […]
It’s spring clearance time for the Boing Boing Store, when some of the best deals from the holidays return even cheaper than before. From top-rated apps to educational software to the cutest record player of all time, they’re all back with a little extra incentive. Shop your heart out before tax season wraps up! Use […]
Big companies want automation on a big scale. Doing that means diving into the tricky world of machine learning and data science. And no matter what platform you’ll be implementing it on, you can learn how with the Machine Learning & Data Science Certification Training Bundle. In 48 hours and through eight courses, this bundle […]